Salonen to assume prominent role with New York Philharmonic through 2018

Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Esa-Pekka Salonen will become the New York Philharmonic's composer-in-residenjce for three years beginning in the 2015 -16 season.

Esa-Pekka Salonen will become the New York Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence for three years beginning in the 2015 -16 season.

What’s new is more than just a question, it’s now an expression of familiarity for the New York Philharmonic, which announced its 2015-16 season Wednesday morning.

Familiar names are everywhere: Esa-Pekka Salonen will be the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence for the next three seasons, replacing Christopher Rouse; bass-baritone Eric Owens is the next Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence; and pianist Inon Barnatan continues in his second season as the Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Association.

The Composer-in-Residence brings new music to the Philharmonic, and the coming season also features the orchestra’s second Biennial, which will feature a world premiere from Salonen (June 11). First, though, music director Alan Gilbert will lead the New York premiere of Salonen’s L.A. Variations (September 25-26), and the local premiere of Karawane (March 17 – 19), a choral composition co-commissioned with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony and Finnish Radio Symphony.

Salonen will also advise the Philharmonic on the CONTACT! new music series, and will co-curate the Biennial. Scheduled for May 31 though June 11, 2016, the Biennial features, along with the new piece from Salonen, the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto (June 9), with principal Joseph Alessi soloing; and the U.S. premiere of Per Nørgård’s Symphony No. 3 on the same concert with Salonen’s premiere. On June 2 and 4, the Biennial and CONTACT! will also produce the American stage premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the inaugural production of the recently announced Lincoln Center-New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative. Further Biennial details will be announced later in the season.

As conductor, Salonen will lead a Messiaen week in March, 2016. The main item will be the Turangalîla-symphonie (March 10-12), with pianist Yuja Wang, in only the third Philharmonic performances of the piece. On March 13, at the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum, Alan Gilbert will play violin, with principal clarinet Anthony McGill, Barnatan, and principal cello Carter Brey, in a performance of Quartet for the End of Time.

As Artist-in-Residence, Owens will sing and curate “In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy” (October 14-15)—the music will include works sung in the past by William Warfield, Betty Allen, George Shirley and Marian Anderson, along with orchestral music from William Grant Still and others. Owens will sing in holiday concerts (December 18-19), will deliver Strauss songs (January 7-12, 2016, with music from Sibelius and Wagner), will interpret selections from Das Knaben Wunderhorn (May 12-14, 2016), and will sing in a Young People’s Concert, May 14, 2016.

Along with the Messiaen Quartet, Barnatan will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 (October 29 –31, Jaap van Zweden, conductor), and perform in Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess, and selections from Offenbach’s Gaîté parisienne—also featured on the concert program will be pianist Makoto Ozone and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham (December 31, a Live from Lincoln Center New Year’s Eve broadcast, with Gilbert conducting).

For concerts of April 27-30, 2016, Gilbert will conduct an as-yet-untitled world premiere by Franck Krawczyk, a previous co-winner of the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music. Previous Philharmonic Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg will have his Violin Concerto No. 2 played in its U.S. premiere, with soloist Frank Peter Zimmerman, January 14-16, 2016—Gilbert will also conduct Respighi’s Church Windows and The Rite of Spring on the same program. The Philharmonic will also present the world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s Canta-Concerto (October 1 and 3), under Gilbert, with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, on a program that will also include two pieces from Brahms.

Daniil Trifonov, who played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Philharmonic to start the new year, and who has a growing presence on the New York concert scene, will return for “Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival,” November 11 – 28. Trifonov will play the complete set of piano concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini under three different conductors, Cristian Macelaru (in his Philharmonic debut), Neeme Järvi and Ludovic Morlot. Trifonov will also play in chamber and vocal music concerts as part of the festival.

Other conductors who will be making their Philharmonic debuts are Justin Freer, who will conduct the score for The Godfather (September 19 and 21) for the second of the Philharmonic’s Art of the Score series, which includes a screening of On the Waterfront with live accompaniment, September 18; Thomas Wilkins, the conductor for Owens’ “In Their Footsteps” program; Jane Glover, who will lead the seasonal Messiah concerts (December 15-19); John Storgårds, with a program of Schumann, Mahler and Sibelius (May 12-14, 2016); and James Gaffigan makes his subscription debut, leading pianist Jeffrey Kahane in the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (December 10-12, the program filled out with Beethoven and Strauss).

Highlights from the full season with Gilbert conducting include Emanuel Ax playing the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (September 30 only), September 30-October 3; pianist Maurizio Pollini appearing for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (October 16); the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 2, principal Philip Myers soloing, and the Divertimento in D Major and Gran partita (November 4 – 7); three works from Sibelius, including Symphony No. 4 and Finlandia, with Joshua Bell playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (December 29 – January 2); and, April 20-22, the Sibelius Symphony No. 7 and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, in the rarely heard configuration of two male singers, tenor Stefan Vinke (making his Philharmonic debut) and baritone Thomas Hampson.

Notable visits from other conductors will be that of Juanjo Mena (January 27-30), leading the Beethoven Violin Concerto, with James Ehnes, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6; Charles Dutoit leading Yuja Wang in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9, and popular music from Respighi (February 3-6); Juraj Valcuha teaming with pianist Yefim Bronfman (February 18-23) in Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and music from Kodály, Dvorak and Ravel; Christoph von Dohnányi conducting Brahms’ German Requiem, with soprano Camila Tilling and baritone Matthias Goerne (March 3-8); the return of Manfred Honeck (April 7-12), with Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony, and Strauss’ Oboe Concerto, with principal Liang Wang soloing; Bernard Haitink leading Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (April 14-19); and David Robertson putting his interpretation on Holst’s The Planets, with principal Alan Baer playing John Williams’ Tuba Concerto (May 26-28).

The New York Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season opens September 18, with “The Art of the Score: On The Waterfront.” Season ticket packages go on sale January 21, individual concert tickets August 16. nyphil.org


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